2022 Lucid Air

2022 Lucid Air

Episode 4205 , Episode 4218
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

One thing that’s truly exciting about the emergence of electric vehicles is the new car makers that are arriving along with them, much like the dawn of the automobile when anyone with a decent design and some financial backing could get a car on the road. That brings us to California’s Lucid Motors and their eye-popping first effort, the Lucid Air.  

You could say that this all-new 2022 Lucid Air dropped onto the automotive landscape out of thin air, but that wouldn’t exactly be true; as the atmosphere from which this luxury sedan has emerged is quite dense with technology and performance.

“Well thought out” was the first thing that came to mind when sliding behind the wheel. Rather than just plunk a big tablet on the dash and call it a day, the interior features a more traditional looking layout and even some actual controls, though many of them are touch sensitive. But, as techy as it is, it doesn’t feel overly so; as its 34-inch dash-top display blends in well, and the infotainment touchscreen is low-mounted in the center stack. But with items like the enormous windshield that blends into the roof, you can tell they spent a lot of time thinking of how to make the interior experience familiar but better.

Most things are well put together, though a few creaks and rattles do appear when you start driving it hard, and more adjustment to the steering wheel would be nice. The rear seat is not the easiest to access, but once you get settled, there is a crazy amount of space inside this 5-seater.

Lucid began their journey as a battery manufacturer, so you know their power packs are well-sorted and capable of delivering enough juice to power more than 1,000-horsepower and sub-3 0-60s; not to mention the longest range of any EV yet, 520-miles. Plus, chargers that put energy back in at a rate of more than 13-miles a minute. And it seems to do more with less, as this Dream’s battery, at 118-kWh is not significantly bigger than competitors. Our particular test vehicle is the Dream Edition Performance with the 21-inch wheels; which means dual-motor all-wheel-drive, 1,111-horsepower, and a bit less 451-miles of range.   

Like many startups, key Lucid players are defectors from other more established automotive brands including a former Head of Design at Mazda. So, they’ve created a unique looking sedan big on style. Its smooth front, with tucked in headlights, is probably its least attractive angle, as it looks much more elegant from all others; and extremely aero-efficient without looking like it. It’s similar in size to Tesla’s Model S, but stands out a little more from the traditional sedan with a bustle-back style clamshell trunk lid.   

Like most EVs in its lofty price range, it’s so smooth and so fast, the driving experience quickly becomes intoxicating; and that “just one time” you push the throttle full becomes a regular occurrence, and you forget all about saving range. We found regen braking to be very easy to get used to, but not as smooth as most when blended with the traditional friction brakes. On back roads, it gets through corners okay; but really, blasting to the next one as fast as possible is the real treat here.  

Suspension tuning is an ongoing process even for well-established brands much less startups, so not all Dreams have the same exact ride; but driven aggressively through our handling course at Mason Dixon Dragway, the Dream lived up to its name. There’s well over 5,000-lbs. of weight to deal with, but it sure didn’t feel like it, as the Dream delivered plenty of grip and very little body roll. “Quite European” passed through our minds here.

But, as you can imagine, straight-line runs were the highlight of the track day, with consistent blasts to 60 in just 2.6-seconds and ¼-mile runs taking only 10.5-seconds at 133 miles-per-hour. All of that power and performance, and the Dream Edition still gets a good efficiency rating of 30.5-kWh/100 miles.  

As mentioned, a limited-production luxury sedan with this much technology and performance naturally comes with a hefty price tag. The Air Dream Edition goes for $170,500. But, there’s better news on the way, as soon the base rear-wheel-drive Pure will arrive, starting at about half that, $88,900.

You could say the Tesla Model S was a look to the future, but the 2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition does a better job of actually delivering it, with the longest range of any EV yet. America is still full of wide-open spaces; and in similar fashion, the dawn of EVs has opened the automotive landscape wider than it’s been in some time. Will the Arizona-built Lucid have staying power or will it eventually fall victim to its own Grand Canyon-sized hype? We think the odds are definitely in its favor!

Specifications

  • Battery: 118 kWh
  • Horsepower: 1,111
  • 0-60 mph: 2.6 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 10.5 seconds at 133 mph
  • 60-0 Braking: 105 feet (avg)
  • EV Range: 451 miles (Performance) 520 miles (Range)
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 1

2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Still A Miata, And That’s A Great Thing

Episode 4340
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

When the cool little Mazda MX-5 Miata arrived for 1990, it immediately triggered a host of imitators and sparked a genuine global roadster revival. While that fad has faded, America’s love affair with the MX-5 has stayed strong. And, we’re pretty sure we know why!

The 2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata is probably one of the most recognizable cars on the road, and it has a way of putting a smile on our face every time we see one, not to mention any time we get a chance to hop behind the wheel. The Miata concept really hasn’t changed drastically over the last three decades, proof that Mazda got the formula right from the beginning.

Rear-wheel drive, minimal weight, tight suspension, willing engine, superb manual shifter, simple folding top, and just enough creature comforts to make long drives as pleasant as carving up backroad twisties.
An overload of power has never been part of that equation, and many may still decry the lack of horsepower, but just a reminder, this car was meant to rekindle the spirit of British roadsters from the 1960s that were a pure joy to drive, and had engines half as powerful as what the Miata works with today, which is a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter I4 with 181 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque.

2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 3/4 Front
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Profile
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 3/4 Rear
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Front Detail
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Rear Detail
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 3/4 Front2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Profile2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 3/4 Rear2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Front Detail2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Rear Detail

A six-speed manual transmission remains the standard; you must upgrade to top Grand Touring trim to even get the available six-speed automatic. And it all works together to deliver a joyful driving experience that few other vehicles can match.

The exterior design has gotten more purposeful and less cartoonish over the years; new for this year is updated lighting which now incorporates the LED DRLs into the headlight assembly, as well as a more cohesive design for the full LED taillights, plus some fresh wheel choices.

Continual upgrades under the skin too, with a new asymmetric limited-slip differential for all manual-equipped Miatas. Its purpose is to minimize oversteer, and if you think that means it’s less fun, you’d be wrong.

The perfect feel and action of the shifter keeps you looking for reasons to shift gears.

It was still a blast to dart through the handling course at our Mason Dixon test track and on the autocross circuit at Summit Point Motorsports Park. Minimal body roll and perfectly neutral handling had us scooting through the turns with ease. Kinematic Posture Control was added back in ’22, using selective braking to tighten up cornering. Adding to it for ’24 is a new steering rack and updated software for the Electric Power Assisted Steering that provides better on-center feel and more precise control.

7.0 seconds to 60 mph won’t exactly get your blood pumping, but it’s plenty adequate for the Miata’s mission and the engine sounds great for a four-cylinder. The perfect feel and action of the shifter keeps you looking for reasons to shift gears. But keep those engine revs above 6,000 for the most power. We did and our best quarter-mile was 15.4 at 92 mph.

Our average braking distance of 118 feet from 60 mph may have been a little longer than we’re accustomed to from a performance car these days, but their predictable and fade-free nature will give you plenty of confidence at your next track day.

2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Dashboard
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Seats
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Instrument Cluster
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Central Display
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Shifter
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Trunk
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Engine
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Dashboard2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Seats2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Instrument Cluster2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Central Display2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Shifter2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Trunk2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Engine

Things remain all business in the cockpit, with everything falling readily to hand, and comfortable seats locking you in place. The most notable change in here for ’24 is a bigger infotainment screen, growing from 7.0 to 8.8 inches.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings with the manual are 26 City, 34 Highway, and 29 Combined. That’s a slightly better than average Energy Impact Score of 10.3 barrels of annual oil use, with 5.0 tons of CO2 emissions.
Starting price is only $30,170; top Grand Touring goes for $35,470.

It’s true that the Mazda MX-5 Miata has barely evolved over the years; but fortunately for all of us, virtually all of the ways that it has changed have been for the better, yet even in 2024, it remains incredibly affordable. It has been such a constant presence and passion for so many of our MotorWeek staffers over the years it seems like it has been around for a lot longer than just three decades, and thankfully, it looks like there’s no slowing the Miata down.

Specifications

As Tested

  • Engine: 2.0-liter I4
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Horsepower: 181
  • Torque: 151 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 7.0 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 15.4 seconds at 92 mph
  • 60-0 Braking: 118 feet (avg)
  • EPA: 26 City | 34 Highway | 29 Combined